South Deep mine, Gold Fields' last operational asset in South Africa, concluded a three-year wage deal with trade unions NUM and Uasa last week. The agreement includes wage hikes of up to 8%. It remains to be seen if this will serve as a template for negotiations with other gold producers.
South Deep, a mechanised mining operation, has been first out of the door with a wage deal in recent years. It was hit in late 2018 by a sometimes violent strike by members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), but unrest seems to have been nipped in the bud this year.
"The total increase of the settlement amounts to an average increase of 6.5% a year over the three-year period," mine owner Gold Fields said in a statement. South Africa's Consumer Price Index (CPI) was running at 4.4% in April but economists do not expect it to quicken past 6% this year.
Rank-and-file workers will get a raise of 8% in year one and, after that, 8% or CPI, whichever is higher. Miners, artisans and officials will get a 6% hike this year and, for the next two years, 6% or CPI if it is higher.